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blueboy27 10-25-2007 11:12 PM

Ground Main Water Supply?
 
I'm doing a little drywall work on my basement and noticed that what looks to be a main grounding wire is wrapped multiple times around my main water supply to the house. My question is whether this should be soldered or mechanically attached directly to the pipe rather than wrapped around it. I know that wrapping a wire around the flow of current causes flow in the wire's electrons but is it sufficient to ground something like this?...

Thanks!
Mike

capt2 10-26-2007 12:22 AM

Yep, Put a pipe connector on and terminate the wire. Also by code there should be a second ground wire from the panel out to 2 outside ground rods--min. 6ft apart.

J. V. 10-26-2007 11:00 AM

Dittos capt. Use approved clamp. Unwind the wire first and cut off the excess.

Wrapping or coiling of conductors is a sin in low voltage or signaling wire. The wrapping in your situation is not the issue. It's the connection.

Stubbie 10-26-2007 11:08 AM

Be absolutely sure to check the water pipe bond wire for amperage before you touch it and especially before you break continutiy between it and the water pipe Also connect a plumbers jumper (insulated wire and insulated handles on the clamps) to the grounding wire and then to the pipe at the exit of the pipe into the earth before disconnecting the two from each other. You need a clamp that looks like below or similiar. Install the clamp house side of the jumper but not farther than 5 feet from where the water pipe exits the house and goes into the earth. The metal pipe must be in contact with the earth for at least 10 feet after leaving the house to be useful as the water pipe electrode. No plastic pipe sections allowed in that area. Place jumpers around any water meters inside the house. Remove plumbers jumper after installation is complete.

http://www.daveswebshop.com/pvagc1.jpg

blueboy27 10-27-2007 02:03 PM

Thanks guys - I'm not sure how far the pipe extends out into the earth. So do I need a ground before and after water meters? The water meter for the house is at the same location.

I understand that it's good to keep this grounded but the house is 9 years old and I'm not sure if it's ever been grounded. What happens if the house doesn't have a good ground, in general?

Stubbie 10-27-2007 10:07 PM

In general the water pipe bond and any supplemental electrodes such as ground rods make up your GES (grounding electrode system). Its purpose is to protect your hame and equipment, appliances, televisions etc...from large voltage and amperage events like lightning and transformer surges. Without it damage to your home will be much more severe. As far as your electrical system it keeps on ticking and will have no ill effects though you may lose some ground fault protection without the water pipe bond. As for the meter you need a jumper of #4 solid copper around it using two clamps like the one shown previously. This is to maintain continuity of the GES and water pipe. If the meter is outside the home in a column trench then no jumper is required. Check to see if you have supplemental electrodes such as ground rods or ufer (rebar in concrete)
http://ecmweb.com/mag/506ecm1705.jpg

ChristopherSprks 10-27-2007 11:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by blueboy27 (Post 70206)
So do I need a ground before and after water meters? The water meter for the house is at the same location.

If it's not to late, don't cut any excess off, just slip the first ground clamp on the ground wire and slide it down a bit then jump to the other side of the meter with the 2nd clamp. Tighten all connections.:thumbsup:

You need to do this to keep the integrity of the grounding system in the event the water meter is ever removed.

blueboy27 10-29-2007 06:31 PM

After more investigating, I found out that this looks to be a data-carrying wire that connects the inside water meter to the one outside of the house. I also checked for grounds and it looks as though there are straps that actually go through (or into) the concrete to create a ground and hold the pipe/meter in place.

I think that the wire has since been replaced by a wireless version? Or something that doesn't require the wire (since I have gotten a water bill and it's not connected)...

Thanks for all of your help guys!

jwhite 10-29-2007 08:36 PM

If this is the main ground wire for your house, it should be number 6 or 4 About the size of a pencil solid or strandid copper.

If this is some other goofy communications wire, no worries.

If this is the main ground wire, WORRY.

If you are not sure, get a pro to look at it for you.

SwiftyMcV 11-02-2007 11:04 PM

Ground Your Gas Line If That Hasnt Been Done

Speedy Petey 11-03-2007 06:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SwiftyMcV (Post 71325)
Ground Your Gas Line If That Hasnt Been Done

Be careful with this. Many utilities do not want their gas lines externally bonded. Done incorrectly they can become a grounding electrode which is expressly forbidden in the NEC and elsewhere.

Beside, the gas line is more than likely already bonded by the appliances it feeds.

SwiftyMcV 11-03-2007 11:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Speedy Petey (Post 71364)
Be careful with this. Many utilities do not want their gas lines externally bonded. Done incorrectly they can become a grounding electrode which is expressly forbidden in the NEC and elsewhere.

Beside, the gas line is more than likely already bonded by the appliances it feeds.

strange... once again I guess its good to be in Canada lol.

Depending on your service size say 100 Amp Service not only to you bond to your water main #6 Bare CU (or hot water tank if your main is pvc/non metal) BUT you must also bond the gas line @ the meter with #6 Bare CU.

Stubbie 11-03-2007 03:44 PM

As Speedy has mentioned the gas utility determines any bonding of their gas lines. Partly because some gas lines are metal serving the dwelling and some gas lines are poly to the dwelling and metal inside the dwelling. Put a bonding #6 on a metal gas pipe system making that pipe an grounding electrode will bring the wrath of the gas utility down on you like a charging grizzly. If poly to dwelling then they only frown a little. The intent of our electrical code requires bonding to the egc if the gas pipe is likely to be energized. This requirement can be met if the appliance served by the gas pipe is also served by the dwelling electrical system in which case the egc will be bonded to the appliance metal and consequently the gas pipe and the requirement is then met at that point. Now there are some issues that came up with the increase in use of flexible gas pipe (CSST) or trade named "gastite" to connect from the metal gas pipe to the appliance. In this case the "gastite" is not considered a low impedence path due to its material makeup and a properly sized jumper is required around the "gastite" much like we do water meters.
Then again if a lightning protection system other than the required grounding electrode system required by the NEC is installed on dwelling and any of it's conductors are within 6 feet of a metal gas line a bonding strap between them is required in order to prevent a side arc in the event of an actual strike by lighting to the optional protective system.
So in a nut shell the bonding of gas pipes is more likely governed by the USA fuel gas code than the NEC. But gas lines were never intended in the last several code cycles to be looked at as the same purpose as the water pipe bond which is a electrode for huge voltage and amperage events like lightning.

Stubbie

SwiftyMcV 11-03-2007 04:39 PM

well in CANADA you do bond the gas line @ the meter even if it is poly, if you dont you wont pass inspection...

the point it electricity takes the path of least resistance... and the metal of the gas lines is more resistant that the #6 that then either jumpers to the ground plate, water main bond or to the Grounding bar of the panel

aema.gov.ab.ca/ss/electrical/454-CEC-10.pdf @ the bottom of the 1st page


Stubbie 11-03-2007 05:53 PM

Quote:

well in CANADA you do bond the gas line @ the meter even if it is poly, if you dont you wont pass inspection...
I'm sorry I don't understand

Quote:

the point it electricity takes the path of least resistance... and the metal of the gas lines is more resistant that the #6 that then either jumpers to the ground plate, water main bond or to the Grounding bar of the panel
I beg to differ..... what your stating is that the gas line is being used as a grounding electrode and is bonded to the rest of the electrode system. Why would you bond a non-conductive plastic pipe? Are you bonding just the meter? Further a lightning strike is a huge voltage and current event, thousands of volts and amps over the nominal of a residential service....it will take all paths to earth regardless of resistance levels. Given poly to the dwelling and metal to the meter (utility side) I doubt that they want you to run a bonding jumper to the meter....what purpose could that possibly serve? The idea for bonding gas pipes is for fault currents not as an electrode for lightning or other high voltage events. The below link is, quite frankly, almost the identical to our own NEC requirements. We rarely run a dedicated copper #6 to a gas pipe from the panel and we would never do it to a plastic pipe. Most of our gas piping is bonded thru our egc's that serve the equipment to which the gas pipes are connected. Our gas companies do not want the gas pipes connected as an electrode thats all we are saying.

BTW.. I think the CEC is a very respected electrical code entity and I have visited with many electricians from Canada at some Detroit gatherings in the auto industry. Bright fellows I might add. But I haven't met one that was so determined to continually imply Canada is just better than the USA. Frankly we are nearly mirror images of each other as far as our distribution systems.

Stubbie






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